November 26, 2015

The Spread of Authoritarianism

I was going to take off from reality today and relax - but just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in.

What happened is I read this statement from Western Washington University President Bruce Shepard:

I need to be VERY clear here: we are not talking the merely insulting, rude, offensive commentary that trolls and various other lowlifes seem free to spew, willy nilly, although there has been plenty of that, too. No, this was hate speech.

These are likely crimes in my view (and in the view of those in the criminal justice system we immediately involved).

Now it may be possible that this is referring to actual credible threats of violence - but that is not made clear. What bothers me is the content of the statement on its face.

Let's start with his first statement "merely insulting, rude, offensive commentary that trolls and various other lowlifes seem free to spew." (emphasis added)

This us a university president who entirely fails to grasp the concepts of freedom in general and free speech in particular. The reality is, Mr. Shepard, that they are free to spew whatever nonsense they wish. Your statement indicating that you find this troubling is an enlightening glimpse into the totalitarian mind.

The rest of the statement takes appalling to a whole new level. "Hate Speech" is not a crime. Saying something that hurts someone's feelings is not a crime. Speech, unless it rises to the level of specific and credible threat of or incitement to violence is not a crime.

When people point to Hate Crime statutes and observe that it is a short step from separating the hate from the crime and just punishing the thought we are called paranoid and ridiculous. Here you see it in action.

People like Western Washington University President Bruce Shepard need to be called out as the authoritarians they are and they need to be stopped.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 09:04 AM | No Comments | Add Comment

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